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Wonderful personalities and natures
Boxers are extremely affectionate and loving
They are highly intelligent
Boxers are incredibly playful and comical by nature with their silly dances
They are very active and energetic which means they need loads of exercise
They thrive on being with people and hate being on their own
They are protective of their families and their belongings
Boxers are extremely good, natural watchdogs
Factors to consider
Extremely energetic and need a ton of mental stimulation and daily exercise
Some Boxers can slobber and drool, a lot
If not well handled and trained, they can show a more dominant side to their natures
Known to suffer from quite a few hereditary health issues
Need firm handling and early training
Can be destructive if left to their own devices
Boxers suffer from separation anxiety
Can be a little over-protective if not well socialised from a young age
Boxers are high energy dogs and are often described as being exuberant, extrovert while at the same time being the clowns of the dog world. They love being entertained and to entertain with their silly dances and fun-loving outlook to life. If there is one thing a Boxer is not, it’s a couch potato. These dogs are extremely loyal and the fact they are so outgoing by nature it means they are great fun to have around. It is said that once a person has owned a Boxer, they would never dream of sharing their home with another breed of dog.
The breed originates from Germany where they were bred as working dogs and it’s believed that Boxers boasts having several well-known and loved breeds in their ancestry. This includes the Bulldog and Great Dane. Their name comes from a German word “beisser” which was corrupted to Bullenbeisser which translated to English means “bull biter”. Boxers are exceptional watchdogs even in a home environment and are very quick to let their owners know if there are any strangers or people about.
The Boxer has consistently been a popular choice of family pet for many years not only here in Ireland, but elsewhere in the world and for good reason. They are loyal, fun-loving, extremely good with children of all ages and they are always ready to join in a game with as much gusto as you would hope for from a reliable, loving and comical family pet. In short, the Boxer is a true and much-loved all-rounder.
Where did the Boxer originate?
The Boxer is a relative newcomer to the dog world having been first bred in Germany in the late 1890’s. The very first German Boxer was exhibited at a dog show in Munich five years later in 1895 and was called a male called Flocki. He was bred using an English Bulldog called Tom and his mother was Brindle German dog who boasted having an interesting lineage with the Bullenbeissen being in her ancestry. The Bullenbeisser was a fighting dog that was used for blood sports which included bull baiting back in the day before it was outlawed.
It was only in the thirties that Boxers arrived on UK shores and a few years later, enthusiasts of the breed got together in London to establish “The British Boxer Dog Club“. It was not long before the club’s membership doubled with six fans of the breed becoming twelve.
That same year in 1936, The Boxer Club was accepted as being an affliate of The Kennel Club and Cruft’s Dog Show started including Boxer Classes in their events. A breed standard was established and in 1939, and Boxers were granted Championship status. The first Champion Boxer in the UK was called Champion Horsa of Leith Hill and was awarded the title in 1939. A year later in 1940, the number of Boxers registered with the Kennel Club rose to 33 dogs.
World War II put a stop to things for the next few years, but with the help of Mrs. Caro who owned the very first Champion Boxer to be bred in the UK, the club survived and prospered gaining new members and before long a revival of the breed took place.
Today, the Boxer is known the world over as being among one of the kindest and most fun-loving albeit highly energetic dogs to own. The added bonus being they are extremely kind when around children and other pets, rarely showing an aggressive side to their personalities.
Did you know…
Is the Boxer a vulnerable breed? No, they are among the most popular dogs in Ireland and elsewhere in the world thanks to their devoted and loyal natures
Boxers are a relatively new breed having been first bred in Germany in the late 1800’s
They are descendants of the Bullenbeisser, a German breed of fighting and bull baiting dog
Boxers were also used to hunt wild boar in days long past
There is no such thing as a “black” boxer, but rather a reverse brindle
Boxers often like to stand on their back legs and punch at the air with their front ones, much like a boxer
White Boxers are not prone to suffering from more health issues, they are however, like other white dogs more predisposed to having hearing issues with some being totally deaf and they are more likely to have eye issues too
What should a Boxer look like?
Height at the withers: Males 57 – 63 cm, Females 53 – 59 cm
Average Weight: Males 30 – 32 kg, Females 25 – 27 kg
One of the most noticeable and endearing physical traits of Boxers, is their undershot jaw and unlike in many other breeds, this is one trait that is highly desirable in the breed. Their jaw structure means a Boxer has a very strong grip when they take anything in their mouths. They are extremely proud looking dogs that always hold themselves well. They are extremely well-muscled and nicely proportioned from the heads right down to the tips of their tails.
A Boxer’s head is another of their defining physical features which should always be well in proportion to the rest of a dog’s body and should never show any sort of exaggeration with their occiput never being too pronounced. Boxers have a well-defined stop and the bridge of their noses should never be too far back in a dog’s forehead and it should not be downfaced either.
The tip of a Boxer’s nose is set a little higher than the root of their muzzles which adds to their unique look. Cheeks are well developed and powerful without any hint of a bulge. The only time a Boxer has any wrinkles on their faces is when they are excited. Their muzzles are always that much darker as compared to the rest of their faces and bodies.
Their eyes are always alert, dark brown in colour and have an “intelligent” look about them which is enhanced by the dark rims around them. Their ears are set wide apart on the top part of their head, falling to the front when a dog is excited, but otherwise they lie flat close to a dog’s cheeks. As previously mentioned, one of the defining features of the breed is their undershot jaw and their extremely powerful bite.
Their neck is supple and strong, being well-muscled with a distinct arch in it that goes right down to a dog’s withers. Their forequarters are powerful and square in appearance when seen in profile. Boxers have very deep chests with well arched and well-defined ribcages. Their backs are short and slope downwards to their hindquarters giving these dogs a very powerful appearance even when they are at rest. Their feet are small and very cat-like in appearance with arched toes and their back feet are slight longer than their front ones. A Boxer’s tail is set high and dogs tend to carry them high.
When it comes to a Boxer’s coat, this is short and tight to their bodies being smooth to the touch and glossy looking. These lovely dogs boast a variety of colours which includes the following:
Black Brindle & White
Brindle & White
Brindle Black Mask
Dark Brindle & White
Fawn & White
Golden Brindle & White
Light Brindle & White
Red & White
Red & White Black Mask
Red Black Mask
Red Brindle & White
Tiger Brindle & White
How should a Boxer move?
When a Boxer moves, they do so powerfully covering a great deal of ground with lots of strength coming from their hindquarters. When seen from the side, a Boxer has a free-moving stride and a noble appearance about them.
What does the Kennel Club look for?
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge all faults on how much they affect a Boxer’s overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform as they should.
Male Boxers must have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it is worth noting that a Boxer can be a little taller or shorter and they can be slightly lighter or heavier than set out in their Kennel Club breed standard which is given only as a guide to a dog’s appearance.
Does a Boxer have a good Temperament?
Known to be real clowns, Boxers are often referred to as the “jokers of the dog world”. They are energetic, playful and fun characters to have around and they take a long time to mature. Boxers are always eager to please and extremely loyal dogs by nature. However, they need to be handled gently, but firmly so they understand their place in the “pack” or they can become a handful and a bit wilful and stubborn when the mood takes them. Boxers must know who is alpha dog and who they can look to for direction and guidance otherwise they will take on the role and show a more dominant side to their natures which is something to be avoided at all costs.
Boxers also need to be well socialised and introduced to new people, animals and different situations as early as possible to curb any unwanted behaviours like jumping up when they greet someone which if not nipped in the bud can develop into a real problem. They rarely show any aggressive behaviour, but due to their size jumping up can be a little intimidating to people and a dog could accidentally knock a child over by doing so.
Some Boxers can be a little wary when around people they don’t know and they are quick to let an owner know when there are strangers about. They need to be kept busy because if a Boxer gets bored through lack of exercise or because they are not given enough mental stimulation, they can become quite destructive around the house which includes chewing on furniture and digging up carpets.
Being such hyperactive characters, Boxers are a great choice for families and people who love to spend as much of their free time with a canine companion in the great outdoors. They adore playing interactive games which includes things like Frisbee. In general, the Boxer is a quick learner because they are intelligent although at times they are known to be a little head strong, but with the correct training and handling, Boxers are a real pleasure to be around.
Boxers are independent thinkers by nature and will always “test” the limits and commands they are given which is why they must be handled with a firm and fair hand right from the word go and throughout their lives and even then, a Boxer would always “try it on” when the mood takes them.
Are White Boxers Healthy?
There have been a lot of myths about White Boxers and the fact they are rare which is not true at all. In fact, 25% of Boxers when first born are white. They are not “albino” either, they simply have less pigment in their skin and although some completely white dogs might be thought of as being albino, they would have to have “pink” eyes to truly be so. A simply white dog would have normal coloured eyes.
The other difference between an albino dog and a White Boxer is that they are the result of two White Boxers that have the “recessive gene” being mated whereas a white dog that’s albino would be the result of having the “albino gene mutation”.
Another myth is that White Boxers are more prone to developing and suffering from more health issues, but there is no evidence of this being true. With this said, because they have lower levels of melanin they are more prone to being sunburnt and of developing skin cancer. Another issue with a lot of white coated dogs including the Boxer, is that they are more predisposed to impaired hearing and vision.
Are they a good choice for first time owners?
Boxers are not a good choice for first time dog owners because they are very independent thinkers which can make training them more of a challenge. They are extremely high energy and intelligent dogs as such owners must have the time needed to socialise and train their canine companion correctly from a young age. Owners also need to understand the specific needs of a powerful, dominant and high prey drive dog so they never get the best of them.
What about prey drive?
Boxers are fun-loving dogs and they have “fighting dog” in their lineage as such they have a high prey drive and can be quite aggressive if not well socialised and trained correctly from a young enough age. Boxers are “bouncy” dogs and love chasing anything that moves in a joyful but often deadly way which often gets them into trouble especially if they are being walked in the countryside off their leads. Young Boxers must be taught the “no” and the “leave it” command from a young age to prevent them from taking off after other animals which includes other dogs when the mood takes them.
What about playfulness?
The Boxer is renowned for being the “clowns of the dog world” and thrive on being around their families and owners loving nothing more than to entertain with their silly antics and dances. They remain very playful throughout their lives which is another reason they are such fun to have around in a home environment.
What about adaptability?
Boxers need to have enough space to express themselves and therefore, they are not suited to apartment living. They do a whole lot better when they have a large back garden to romp around in as often as they can, making sure the fencing is secure enough to keep an athletic Boxer safely in.
Will a Boxer Bark alot?
Boxers are not known to be “barkers” although they are natural guard dogs and therefore they are quick to let an owner know when things they don’t like are happening in their environment. With this said, any dog that’s left on their own for long periods of time would start barking incessantly to let people know how unhappy they are about the situation.
Do Boxers like Swimming?
Some Boxers love being in water although they are not built to be “water dogs” and as such care should always be taken when a Boxer jumps in to take a swim. Because of their build and their shorter noses, Boxers find it harder to stay afloat which is part of the reason why care should always be taken when these dogs are around swimming pools or ponds.
Other Boxers don’t even like getting their feet wet and it would be a mistake to make them go in water because it would just end up scaring them even more. Care should be taken when walking a Boxer that does like swimming anywhere near more dangerous water courses just in case they decide to leap in.
Are Boxers good watchdogs?
Boxers are exceptionally good natural watchdogs, a trait that’s deeply embedded in their psyche which in short, means they don’t need to be trained to guard over and protect anything which could end up making a Boxer a little too over-protective and could even lead to a dog turning aggressive.
Will a Boxer be easily trained?
Boxers are intelligent dogs, but they need to be well handled and given the right sort of guidance from a young age for them to be truly obedient dogs. They also need to be well socialised as soon as possible so they get to meet new people, other animals and new situations for them to grow up to be calmer, more rounded dogs.
Boxers can be boisterous when young which means it can prove difficult to get a dog to focus when they are being taught anything new. With this in mind it’s essential for these dogs to be handled firmly right from the word go so they understand their place in the “pack” and who is alpha dog. Boxers can become unruly and wilful if they are not given the right sort of direction and they are extremely quick at picking up any bad habits which need to be nipped in the bud, gently but firmly.
It would be a mistake to keep “bribing” a Boxer to get them to do something because it generally means they have succeeded in “training” their owners rather than the other way around. Boxers are highly intelligent even though they play the fool and as such, they are extremely fast learners with the downside being they are just as quick to pick up some bad habits as well as the good.
Boxer puppies must be taught limits and boundaries right from the word go bearing in mind that they will also test any ground rules just for the fun of it. Puppies must be taught the basic commands as soon as they arrive in their new homes and this includes the following bearing in mind that it is in a Boxer’s nature to “test” the limits of how far they can go just for the fun of it:
Is a Boxer Safe with Children and Other Pets
Boxers are generally very kind dogs when they are around children of all ages and when given the correct guidance they are extremely loyal and protective of their family pack which is something that must be taken into account when the kids have friends over to play. As with any other breed, they need to be well socialised and introduced to as many new situations, pets and people from a young age to be truly well-balanced and well-behaved dogs and even then, their playfulness usually gets the better of them.
They are also known to be good around other dogs and family pets and as previously mentioned, a Boxer rarely shows any sort of aggressive behaviour towards other animals providing they have been well enough socialised from a young age. However, it’s always best to make sure that any introductions to new dogs or other animals goes smoothly by keeping a close eye on things especially when smaller animals and pets are involved thanks to the Boxer’s higher prey drive.